Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Like most little boys, Fireball loves riding the Mini SL Train. When a good friend told us that Sakura Kusabue no Oka (佐倉草ぶえの丘) has a really long track route, we immediately put this place on our must visit list. So, during a Silver Week holiday, we went to the park to check it out.
True enough, it was a jolly 1.1 km train ride. Our kids were not the only ones who had a great time. My husband enjoyed the ride tremendously too.
If you see the map below, you can see the train route at the top left hand corner. It passes by the animal zone, barbecue area, camping area and along the woods. A really nice scenic ride, according to my husband.
Adults: 410 yen
Elementary/Junior High School Children: 100 yen
Children before Elementary School: Free
See official price list here.
Park Opening Hours:
March 2o to October 31 – 09:00 to 18:00 hrs
November 01 to March 19 – 09:00 to 16:30 hrs
See website for more information.
See access to Sakura Kusabue n0 Oka’s official website.
Like Boso Village, Sakura Kusabue Park offers a lot of public awareness programs on farming, as well as traditional art and crafts such as ceramic, pressed flower crafts etc.
They also have log houses /small chalets with camping facilities, barbecue area, wading pool for summer play, old building monuments and many more…
Fireball had a great time conquering the Bouken Toride (冒険とりで/ adventure fortress). Twinkle-Bell, on the other hand, enjoyed exploring an old static carriage of a Toei Mita Line train, last used in 1999.
The animal zone is near the mini SL train platform. There are rides on pony or donkey, and a tiny petting zoo. I love animals so it was great when my kids wanted to interact with the chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs. Entrance fee is ¥150 for each kid for 15 mins, and ¥50 for each accompanying adults. Okay, something I had to vent online. I have problem with this particular animal section. Most petting zoos that we went to, have plenty of adult supervisions. Kids are taught how to hold the small animals properly. Kids who do not handle the animals with care or respect are instantly reprimanded by the zoo-keepers. Here, I was shocked that parents just dropped off their kids, and left them there on their own, like some kind of nursery school. There was no person-in-charge in sight. The person who collected the entrance fee was over at the pony/donkey riding zone.
Animals and kids were running all over the place. I did not like this, I had a really bad feeling. Like an annoying broken record, I kept telling my kids not to run. Fireball and Twinkle-Bell were actually not running but I was hoping that my angry tone would stop those who were running.
Then, it happened just within minutes of us being there. A chick died of mishandling. Only then, the parent and the zoo-keeper appeared, trying to handle the situation. It really upset me very much. I made my kids and husband leave the area before I lose control and transform into the incredible hulk. So angry! >_<” I stormed into the Rose Garden nearby. It took a while for the pretty roses to cool me off. RIP little chick (cry).
This area is also known as City of Sakura Rose Garden (草ぶえの丘バラ園). It was chosen as a Hall of Fame Garden by the Great Rosarians of the World (GROW) in 2014.
Except for the horrible petting zoo, Kusabue no Oka is quite a nice park. If it is the right season, the rose garden can be really magically soothing. Personally, I’d like to try the long mini train ride the next time we come again.